Portsmouth launch investigation into academy group chat racism

Portsmouth have confirmed the club will launch an immediate investigation following their learning of images originating from a group chat in the academy's Under-18 side circulating around social media.

The images reportedly include content of a discriminatory nature following England's penalty shootout loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday, in which Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed their spot kicks.

In a club statement, Portsmouth said: "Portsmouth Football Club are aware of images circulating on social media that allegedly originate from an academy u18 group chat and which are discriminatory in nature.

"The club have launched an immediate investigation and will provide an update once this has been completed."

There have been many reports of racist abuse over the past few days following the Three Lions' loss to Italy, in which 19-year old Saka saw the crucial spot kick saved.

The torrents of vile hate have led to increased calls for social media companies to take action in the aim of eradicating the issue from their platforms, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier warned of severe fines if they fail to do so.

Pompey also went on to confirm their support for equality in the game in the statement, insisting their condemnation for what the leaked group chat images contain and stand for.

"Portsmouth Football Club strongly condemn racism and are totally committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination. There is no place for it in our game or society as a whole."

The Portsmouth senior squad will spend the next week of their pre-season training at St. George's Park, where the England squad were based throughout Euro 2020.

Pompey will get back to competitive matters on the field on August 7, when they travel to Fleetwood to kick off their League One campaign under Danny Cowley.

Source : 90min